A photography business is actually a culmination of two completely different vocations one having absolutely no relation to the other and yet one is incomplete without the other.
Whether photography is an art or science is a debatable question. The photography world would be split into two with one thinking it is an art form and the other thinking it to be science. I personally believe it is both.
But business is something completely different. If you wish to start a photography business you will need to know not only the tricks of the trade, so far as photography is concerned, but also grasp the fundamentals of how to run a business.
Up your game as a photographer
Just because you got your first DSLR, some decent shots and a couple of hundred raving fans on Facebook and Flickr does not make you a great photographer. They say the best way to learn new things is by looking at other photographers’ works. I prefer to use that practice also a humbling experience. Check out other photographers’ works to compare yourself and learn where you can improve your photography.
Join a class
Education is a continuing process and nowhere is it as relevant as in photography. Even if you think you have everything covered or can learn on the job there are aspects that are only learned when you join an advanced photography class. Things that you can learn in an hour can take often months of practice and self-study.
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There are even classes on how to start a photography business that can help you with your startup questions. There is simply no alternative to joining a class at least at the initial stages of your career.
There is simply no alternative to joining a class at least at the initial stages of your career.
Marketing your Photography Business
A business website is a must. It is the easiest and the fastest way to get attention when prospects are searching for you on the internet. A friend of mine often tells me that a majority of people who visits his website either search directly for his name or with the search string “wedding photographer in . . . “ on search engines.
Another primary marketing tool is printed photo books. These days with digital technology and the internet photo-books have somewhat lost their importance. This is all the more reason why you should invest in having at least half a dozen photo books printed.
These should be done in glossy photo papers and in vibrant colors. Ask yourself: Has only your best work showcased in these books? They could be mailed to your prospective clients.
With digital technology comes the undeniable advantage of being able to market to a target audience cost-effectively. Having a Facebook page and updating it regularly with images, tips and anything relevant is, however, a challenge for a single person photographer.
My suggestion to start a photography business would be to finely balance your workload between making images and marketing, initially putting more emphasis on making better images.
When Starting a Photography Business, Money Matters
Money is the oxygen of any business.
If the flow of money or revenue stops the business wilts away. It is, thus, imperative that you know how to control the flow of money and how to keep things in check by employing proper business acumen.
In certain terms, it is more important than the knowledge of how to start a photography business. You don’t have to be a master of business administration in order to manage your business. However, it is best that you employ the services of a tax consultant who can educate you of the tax and return filing obligations and help you maintain your records and file the returns.
To start keeping track of your expenses and plan your budget you may want to check out “You Need a Budget” or simply YNAB – a fantastic tool for individuals and small business.